Penta Investments Shakes Up Ownership Structure

Penta Investments Financial Group is changing its ownership structure. One of the founders, Jaroslav Haščák, began transferring his share in Penta Investments Group Limited, which is the basic ownership fund of the entire group, to the family. This follows from the first entries in the register of real owners, Hospodářské noviny (HN) reports. The group confirmed this, stating that the owners had been thinking about changing the ownership structure for a long time. At the end of the year, Penta’s third-largest shareholder, Jozef Oravkin, is due to resign from all managerial positions, and at the same time, his gradual payment will begin. Of the founders, only Marek Dospiva will remain as the owner.

Penta is a Central European investment group that started in 1994 as a securities dealer. Today, he works in several areas, especially in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, real estate, and, more recently, in the media. Her best-known investments in the Czech Republic include the Dr. pharmacy network. Max, betting office Fortuna or media house Vltava Labe Media.

Haščák was accused of corruption in Slovakia last December and spent 30 days in custody at the turn of the year. Immediately after his arrest, he resigned from executive positions in the company, but now he also ends up on the property. The company denies that this was a purposeful step, and at the same time points out that Haščák’s accusation does not apply to acts at the end of which there could be a suspicion of unfair acquisition of property, and therefore its possible seizure, HN writes. The case is probably related to the leakage of recordings from wiretaps in an as yet unexplored corruption case called Gorilla, which concerns suspicions of bribery of high-ranking Slovak politicians and officials by Penta in 2005 and 2006.

Haščák transfers the share, which reaches about 44 percent, to his wife. After the completion of the transaction, which may take several months due to regulation, it will remain completely aside, the daily said. Forbes magazine estimates Haščák’s assets, which mainly form a share in Penta, at 1.2 billion dollars (about 25 billion crowns).

According to the head of the group’s communication, Martin Danek, Oravkin is to resign from all managerial positions at the end of this year, and at the same time, his gradual payment will begin. Its roughly ten percent share has a valuation of around 250 to 300 million euros, ie just over six billion crowns. It is not yet clear exactly who will take over his share. According to HN, Oravkin is leaving for personal reasons.

Penta operates in more than ten European countries, has offices in Prague, Bratislava, and Warsaw, and employs more than 43,000 people. Last year, the Penta Investments Group’s profit fell by 48 percent to 3.5 billion crowns. Cumulative revenues of portfolio companies increased by five billion to 181 billion crowns. Dr.Max, betting Fortuna, Penta Real Estate, and Primabanka, in particular, contributed to the profit. On the other hand, Dôvera insurance company, the Polish retail network Empik, Slovalco, and Aero Vodochody were loss-making.